Worry to Wonder

by Leslie Sann

“My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened.” ~Michel Montaigne
One of my clients, who I adore, has the habit of beginning her sentences with “II worry about _____ .” This happens many times during the course of her sharing about what has gone on for her leading up to our conversation. Then, as she is telling me about what she sees next, she begins with phrases like, I worry, I worry about, or I worry that.
I’ve mentioned it to her before and we’ve played with it and as with most long term habits it takes more than just a good idea to make a change. It takes repetition to make a positive difference.
The next time I heard her say, ‘I worry’ I stopped her. “Let’s say that sentence again. This time replace the word worry with wonder.”
This simple shift made a dramatic difference. Watch this:
• I worry that my mom is living alone and may fall and no one will know.
• I wonder how I can support my mom is doing her balancing exercises and also to remember to wear her life alert necklace.
• I worry that I ate too much last night.
• I wonder how I can increase my exercise today and handle going off course last night.
• I worry that my sister is drifting away and our relationship is eroding.
• I wonder how I can nurture my connection with my sister and deepen the friendship I cherish.
Got it?
Worry does nothing other than promote more worry, fretting and stress. Wonder opens up to possibility and choices. Choices lead to action. Action leads to results. Results can be fine-tuned with more action.
Worry never stopped anyone from falling down, from gaining weight, from eroding relationships. Yet there is evidence that participation in the process with intention to co-create a preferred outcome has a very high percentage of success.
I wonder how you will train yourself to stop worrying and choose wondering?
Love and Blessings,
Leslie Sann